It's August and this mom knows what that means…back-to-school is right around the corner. Keshia Leeann Gardner‘s viral Facebook photo shows her leaping for joy at her newfound post-summer freedom with a bunch of giggling and slightly embarrassed kids in the background. To make things even more humorous, Gardner only tagged one person in the photo: the boy who is covering his face from the camera. This is a family that knows how to be silly and keep things fun.
In the last few weeks, the Alabama mother's post has had much news coverage as the “photo that represents how we all feel,” but this actually isn't the first time Gardner has expressed her end-of-summer relief in front of the camera. “This is just something that we do every year to celebrate going back to school,” Gardner told TODAY Parents. “I love my kids, and the photo was just taken in humor.” Many people wrongly interpret that Gardner is a stay-at-home mom who wants her children to go away, but she explains how it's really just the opposite. She works full-time for the Jackson County Legislative Delegation, lives on a farm with her husband, who owns his own plumbing business, and takes care of her family, which is made up of biological, step, and foster children.
“We work very hard and stay very busy, so we try to find the humor in life because life is too short not to smile,” Gardner shared with TODAY Parents. And oh, how the world is smiling back. The family has received comments and messages from people around the world who have encountered the heartwarming photo. “It just makes me feel so overjoyed to know that a little picture of something that I do every year has made people from Washington to Taiwan smile,” said Gardner. “It makes me feel good.” She hopes that as people find out more about who their family is made up of, their photo will inspire others to learn more about foster care in the U.S. Now that is really something to leap about.
Here's the Gardner photo-turned-meme from 2015…
All images via Keshia Leeann Gardner.